Alphonse Kambu holds a PhD in law with specific emphasis on environmental law and policy from Chiba University in Japan.
Prior to joining the Division of Environmental Law and Conventions (DELC) at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) he was Director of Ishikawa International Cooperation Research Center, a Special Programme of the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS), which is now the international Operating Unit of UNU-IAS that he was instrumental in its establishment. He also taught at the Tokyo Management College and other universities in Japan and worked with IUCN-The World Conservation Union before going to UNU-IAS in 2002.
He was a lead author and contributing author in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) contributing to the Typology of Responses and Biodiversity sections of the Policy Responses Volume respectively. He has also contributed to various books and journals, and published reports on topics including water regulation, the legal protection of traditional knowledge (TK), gene patenting and other topics within the sustainable development agenda.
Alphonse has worked on a number of areas including water regulation and governance, the legal protection of TK and access and benefit sharing (ABS), conservation of satoyama (eco-cultural rural landscapes) and satoumi (coastal and seascapes) of Japan, and sustainable use of living natural resources.
He was also responsible for initiating the Sub-global Assessment (SGA) in Japan in 2006 as a follow-up initiative to the MA, and was Science Director for the Japan Assessment until April 2008. Alphonse is presently a Programme Officer with DELC working on water and marine law and governance issues.